There was just you to spread your brand. And as we’ll talk about today,in many ways that is better.
As a professional sales person I recognize the importance of showcasing my professional brand every time I am in front of someone. Whether that is a client, prospect, coworker, boss, or even friend.
I want to always put my best foot forward. And the below options are some of the more common ways you can do the same thing. Spread your offline brand to become known in your industry.
Trade shows can be a a very successful form of networking and prospecting. Any opportunity when you can put your message in front of a large number of peers or prospects is a wonderful opportunity.
If you do trade shows it’s important to keep your brand consistent in all your communications. Make sure your banner or booth drapes, covers, backdrops, etc. all use the same colors, logos, and imagery.
A great idea I learned from Chet Holmes The Ultimate Sales Machine (affiliate link) is to have a “gimmick” at your booth. Offer drinks, massages, or some other offering that will keep people engaged and force them to spend some more time at your booth.
Part of trade show brand management is making your booth fun and a place where prospects or peers feel comfortable going and hanging out.
Most importantly have fun and engage people as they walk past. You don’t want to be known as the booth where the sales person simply sits and is on their phone or computer.
Seminars / Public Speaking
Seminars are a great opportunity to develop your brand and deliver your message to a wider audience. It’s also a great place to sell auxiliary products to your main offerings.
I do not have much experience in doing this myself but it is one area I’d like to improve on in 2013.
There are plenty of organizations and companies out there that would love to have a thought leader such as yourself come in and talk to their sales team or group.
Keep in mind that they are not inviting you in to sell your wares. Instead they are inviting you in to teach them something new.
For example, if I were invited in to give a seminar on property management software, which I sell, I would’t focus on my software. The would be a seminar called “Top 10 Reasons MRI Software Is The Best Property Management Software“.
Who cares? Most people won’t. And most people will not attend a seminar like that.
Alternatively when giving a seminar I would instead focus on problems that are faced in my target prospects market.
Some topics I could give a seminar on include:
- Why Enterprise Level Property Management Software May Not Be Right For You
- Top 10 Reasons Your Property Management Software Isn’t Making You Money
- Five Disastrous Challenges Property Management Companies Are Facing In The Market Today
- The 8 Most Important Requirements For A Property Management Software
Did you notice how those topics are focused on the audience’s pains and not my software? All of them are focused on solving a problem or answering questions that your customers need answered.
Your goal should be to provide knowledge in these seminars. Not sell…I repeat NOT SELL!
The second you start pushing your product on these people they will tune out. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t offer your products up to them, but is the last thing you do. And when you do, it must tie in nicely with what you’ve been talking about.
Let them know, “Our product does fix the 5 pains we went over. If you’d like to know more let me know so we can try to schedule a time to talk about your individual situation“. No selling there, just a hey lets talk statement.
That will keep their defenses down and help build trust.
You have a brand to represent every time you meet with a prospect or client. If you represent yourself as a consultant, be sure to have a strong consultative nature when you’re meeting with someone.
Be sure to let them know about your other branded mediums. Online blogs, trade shows you’re in, or any publications you have.
You should dress as a professional sales person, unless your brand is the “Cowboy Sales Man” or the “Rockstar Seller” where more unconventional attire could work. Don’t go overboard though.
Be sure that anything you send or give to a prospect or client stays true to your brand. Consistency is key, not only in sales training, but in developing your brand as well.
Did you know that trade magazines and publications are always looking for great content writers? Especially from industry experts who know what they’re talking about.
Guess what…. that’s YOU!
Reach out to editors, have something ready to present to them. Give them a bit about your background, send them copies of your other writings. Build your credibility.
Here’s an idea.
If When you get published in a publication or trade magazine be sure to get a bunch of copies. In fact I’d say buy EVERY copy you can get your hands on.
Send them to your prospects with the page of your article marked. Include a small note saying something like…
“Hey Sarah, I was working with [Mr. Editor] over at [Trade Magazine] about [Industry Topic]. I thought you would find the article interesting. You know trends that are going on in the industry. I’d love to set up a time to talk it over. Give me a call tomorrow to set that up.”
Hows that for building credibility? Not only that, you are giving them a nice ego boost at the same time.
Because you, Ms. Published Article, are asking to talk with them about the topic at hand.
I’ll be touching on this more in a later post but business cards should obviously be well branded.
This includes your logo, colors, tag lines, and maybe even Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook icons or URLs. At least so they know you have a presence on those social media sites.
Business cards are one of the most handed out collateral. They should represent you well.
This is another area I’ll cover in a later post but appropriate for this conversation as well.
If you give out gifts at tradeshows or through your marketing efforts. Have them branded as well as you can.
No matter what type of gifts you send they should prominently showcase your brand.
The Real World Still Exist
It’s important to not neglect it.
Get your name out there by actually being out there. Meet people, show how great of a person you are in real life and your sales will show the dividends from such activities.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net